15 Cities That May Become Technology Hubs in the Next 5 Years

What is a Technology Hub?

A tech hub is a space, city or sector where a high number of IT companies cluster. In doing so, tech hubs often enrich the local economy. Technology hubs are places that aim to nurture new ideas too. They may easily bring them to fruition given the access to IT talent. When you look around the world, some top technology hub cities are in specific areas or regions. Like Silicon Valley in CA and the Research Triangle in NC. 

In other areas, a tech hub may be set of office buildings. They tend to appeal to startups who need affordable rent. Also, some companies form their own tech hubs in specific cities.  Amazon, for e.g., has 17 tech hubs in North America outside Seattle.  

How do Tech Hubs Start?

Top technology hubs tend to start in cities with universities devoted to STEM and research.  STEM spans science, tech, engineering, math and related areas. Like computing, cyber security, artificial intelligence and data science.  These programs may help a city develop its reputation for forward thinking. Add to that, it provides a ready supply of skilled graduates with STEM degrees.  

What does a Tech Hub Need to Succeed?

A skilled tech workforce fed by a robust academic scene is one key to a tech hub’s success. But to grow and thrive, a tech hub needs a certain ecosystem.  For one, a tech hub needs to plug in to a power source.  That means connected to all things fast and digital. Like high speed broadband, city wide WiFi, and 5G coverage. 

Technology hubs also need to be accessible. Places that one may travel into and out of for meetings with ease.  With these things in place, a tech hub is likely to have: 

  • A strong existing tech workforce
  • Lots of emerging tech jobs
  • Tech makes up a large part of the economy
  • New tech companies can afford to rent offices
  • There’s recent investment in tech

15 Cities That May Become Technology Hubs in the Next 5 Years

For a city to evolve into a technology hub, it takes time. Here are 15 cities that may become tech hubs in the next five years.  

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Boston, MA 
  3. Chicago, IL 
  4. Denver, CO 
  5. Los Angeles, CA 
  6. NYC, NY 
  7. San Francisco, CA 
  8. Seattle, WA 
  9. Philadelphia, PA 
  10. Charlotte, NC 
  11. Miami City, FL 
  12. Atlanta, GA 
  13. Huntsville City, AL 
  14. Minneapolis, MN 
  15. Portland, ME

1. Austin, Texas

Austin is the eclectic state capital of Texas and one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. The city boasts a lively food scene, bike trails, and music festivals. It is also home to many research universities with strong tech dept’s. As the home of Dell Inc.’s HQ, Austin has about 2,687 tech companies. Its main tech industries are e commerce, software and cloud.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), 36,400 people work in information jobs. That’s no surprise given Austin is already one of Amazon’s tech hubs. And, the city may further develop given recent news.  Tesla leadership just unveiled a pitch for an Austin gigafactory this week. That alone has the potential to bring in 5,000 more jobs and grow Austin as a leading tech hub. 

Austin at a glance

  • Population (2019): 978,908 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 85.5% 
  • Median home price: $312,300 
  • Average rent: $1,225 

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst:  $87,480 
  • Information Security Analyst: $114,280 
  • Network Architects: $88,100 
  • Web Developer: $80,570 
  • Software Developer: $106,080

5 places to look for a tech job 

  • Atlassian Software
  • Medallia
  • A Cloud Guru
  • Khoros
  • Expedia Group 

2. Boston, Massachusetts 

Boston is the charming capital of Massachusetts. Being the largest city in New England is not its only claim to fame. The city is home to Fenway park, the Freedom trail and Harvard University. Not to mention many other colleges and about 2,350 tech companies. There are three main tech industries in Boston to speak of. Edtech, hardware and security.  

According to the BLS.gov, 80,200 people work in information jobs. So, it is easy to get why Boston is home to many startups with fresh tech ideas. One example is Boston based  Akili Interactive Labs, a health tech company. They built an innovative video game to help treat ADHD in children. Called EndeavorRX TM, the game recently got FDA approval for use with other treatments. With creative tech like this, Boston may make an even bigger impact as a tech hub in coming years. 

Boston at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 692,600 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 83.6% 
  • Median home price: $487,300 
  • Average rent: $1,539

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019) 

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $99,670 
  • Information Security Analyst: $106,550 
  • Network Architects: $84,880 
  • Web Developer: $90,010 
  • Software Developer: $115,940

5 places to look for a tech job

  • DigitalOcean
  • VMware Carbon Black
  • Takeoff Technologies
  • edX
  • True Fit Corp. 

3. Chicago, IL

Chicago is a global metropolis located on the shores of Lake Michigan. Known for its blues and jazz scene, Chicago also has a deep academic culture. It is home Illinois Tech, many universities and about 6,022 tech companies. According to the BLS.gov, 77,000 people work in information jobs. Three common tech industries are fintech, healthtech and big data.  

The city’s tech industry also has a hub within a hub. One example is 1871, a tech incubator that has over 450 member companies. Outside that center, Chicago has a robust startup scene. A few that are making their mark are Spot Hero and Relativity. Spot Hero’s goal is to solve Chicago’s parking problem through their app. They landed $50M in funding in 2019. Relativity is an eDiscovery software company. They turn big data into usable info and announced plans to add 300 jobs in 2019. Things like this may step the stage for Chicago to loom even larger as a tech hub in the next years. 

Chicago at a glance

  • Population (2019):2,693,976 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 75.9% 
  • Median home price: $246,500 
  • Average rent: $1,077

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $91,340 
  • Information Security Analyst: $102,780 
  • Network Architects: $123,100 
  • Web Developer: $78,700 
  • Software Developer: $103,760

5 places to look for a tech job 

  • Belvedere Trading
  • The Marketing Store
  • Braviant Holdings
  • Flexera
  • Zoro

4. Denver, CO

Denver blends big city with Rocky Mountain outdoor living. This brings opportunities galore to hike, ski and bike. The city itself (Denver City) is one of the fastest growing U.S. cities. One reason may be that many of the state’s 3,966 tech companies are also in Denver. According to the BLS.gov, 51,800 people work in information jobs. The most common tech industries among them are software, adtech and mobile.

 A few things point to Denver making an even bigger splash as a tech hub. Last year, Amazon’s tech hub upped its presence in Denver. That follows Facebook who officially friended Denver with a downtown office in 2018. One of the reasons cited by RentCafe is the lower rental costs. Especially compared to other tech cities like San Fran. They also point to iHeartMedia, Home Depot, and Western Union. All these companies laid the foundation for potential growth.

Denver at a glance

  • Population (2019): 727,211 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 83.7% 
  • Median home price: $357,300 
  • Average rent: $1,217

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $100,510 
  • Information Security Analyst: $98,700 
  • Network Architects: $92,290 
  • Web Developer: $9,160 
  • Software Developer: $110,680

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Snowflake
  • Sumo Logic
  • Ping Identity
  • Bonusly
  • Conga 

5. Los Angeles, CA

LA, known for the Hollywood Hills, is the second largest city in the U.S. Apart from the beaches and celebrity sightings, culture is vibrant. These features make Southern CA appealing. Especially to those who seek an option to life in San Francisco. Or, to Silicon Valley. Some folks in fact call the area, “Silicon Beach”. That’s a nod to LA’s about 6,131 tech companies and robust academic STEM scene. 

According to the BLS.gov, 235,100 people work in information jobs. Three of the common tech industries are consumer web, digital media and e commerce. One of the reasons LA may grow as a tech center is it has a strong manufacturing presence. About 425,000 people (BLS.gov) work in this industry. That may position it to attract hardware startups. Giving this energy a hand is a company called MiLA Capital

They work in three areas. Manufacturing, supply chain and tech. And, are the brains behind Toolbox LA. It is a place for the LA hardware tech community to meet and exchange ideas. If this is an indicator, LA may shine, not only for its glitz and glamor. But also, for its impact as another CA destination for tech investment.

Los Angeles at a glance

  • Population (2019): 3,979,576 
  • Households with broadband Internet:80.7% 
  • Median home price: $599,700 
  • Average rent: $1,376

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $105,380 
  • Information Security Analyst: $103,810 
  • Network Architects: $93,250 
  • Web Developer: $81,070 
  • Software Developer: $121,150

4 places to look for a tech job 

  • Cornerstone
  • Zest AI
  • Clutter
  • Honey

6. New York City, NY

NYC aka the “Big Apple” needs no formal intro. It is the nation’s most populous and diverse city. Home to Wall Street, Broadway and the Statue of Liberty, NYC also has about 120 universities. Close to 5,283 tech companies also have a NYC base. According to the BLS.gov, 204,800 people work in information jobs. Some industries are fintech, real estate and digital media.  

Four big tech companies just took a bite out the city’s Far West Side. Called the “New Tech Corridor”, the area includes the newly built Hudson Yards. A few big names have plans to move there from other areas in Manhattan. Facebook, Google and Amazon.  LinkedIn is still in the Empire State Bldg. And other names like IBM, Deloitte and Verizon have offices in the city too. Apart from established companies, NYC has a strong startup presence. Three sectors stand out and are on an upswing. Big data / AI, cyber security, and life sciences. These features mixed with NYC’s other aspects may bolster it as a tech center in years ahead.

NYC at a glance  

  • Population (2019): 8,336,817 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 79.4%  
  • Median home price: $570,500 
  • Average rent: $1,396 

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $114,070 
  • Information Security Analyst: $127,850 
  • Network Architects: $105,080 
  • Web Developer: $89,110 
  • Software Developer: $122,230

5 places to look for a tech job 

  • Work & Co
  • UnQork
  • DigitalOcean
  • Etsy

7. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has personality. Winding roads, the Golden Gate Bridge, many neighborhoods and universities. Not to mention fog. The San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas are what we know as Silicon Valley. So, it’s no secret that SF is already a tech hub. According to the BLS.gov, 128,500 people work in information jobs. Some common tech industries are fintech and artificial intelligence. 

Many startups continue to raise funds though. Among them are DoorDash Inc, Jobvite and Human API Inc. So, innovation seems here to stay and grow. In fact, about 4,372 tech companies flock to the Bay Area. Among them Uber, Lyft, Visa and Twitter. Because people already equate SF with tech, it may grow or at least remain a tech center in the future. 

San Francisco at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 881,549 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 86%  
  • Median home price: $1,009,500 
  • Average rent: $1,805 

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019) 

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $121,300 
  • Information Security Analyst: $122,570 
  • Network Architects: $104,370 
  • Web Developer: $110,790 
  • Software Developer: $145,250

6 places to look for a tech job 

  • Brex
  • Chime
  • Grammarly
  • Primer
  • HouseCanary
  • Comfy

8. Seattle, WA

Seattle, located in the Pacific Northwest is an eco friendly, tech focused city. It is home to the Space needle and a lively outdoor culture. Apart from that Seattle has about 2,160 tech companies. The common industries are software, marketing tech and healthtech. According to the BLS.gov, 129,600 people work in information jobs. And some say, it is one of the fastest growing tech hubs.

One reason is that a few big companies have a strong presence there. Facebook, Google, and homegrown Starbucks and Amazon. The city also plans to add 5.6 million square feet of office space. This may appeal to tech companies looking for space outside San Francisco. As Seattle is no stranger to startups, it may have no trouble growing as a tech city in future years. 

Seattle at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 328,239,523 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 80.4%  
  • Median home price: $204,900 
  • Average rent: $1,023

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $106,690 
  • Information Security Analyst: $111,390 
  • Network Architects: $99,160 
  • Web Developer: $138,600 
  • Software Developer: $134,090

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Unity Technologies
  • Media Alpha
  • Quantcast
  • Amperity
  • Eagleview

9. Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is the largest city in PA. Home to the Liberty Bell and the Art Museum Steps, Philly also has a strong tech core, visible in a Comcast dominant skyline. According to the BLS.gov, there are 14,300 people in Philly holding information jobs. A few of the tech areas are analytics, software and healthtech. One reason may be its location. There’s easy access to NYC, NJ, Delaware and DC. Also, Philadelphia has a very impressive academic scene.  Big names like University of Pennsylvania, Drexel, Strayer and Temple. These schools further boost the city’s strong STEM presence. 

To that point, is the recent launch of the Pennovation Center. It is a UPenn initiative and blends offices, labs and production space. Penn envisions this will unite tech, innovation and R &D. The Science Center, which partners with 31 universities (including Penn) is also its neighbor. Given these features, Philly may still rise as a city of tech love in the future. 

Philadelphia at a glance

  • Population (2019): 1,584,064 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 73.7%  
  • Median home price: $156,800 
  • Average rent: $1,007

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $104,760 
  • Information Security Analyst: $107,310 
  • Network Architects: $123,440 
  • Web Developer: $74,710 
  • Software Developer: $105,840

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Comcast
  • Clarivate Analytics
  • Carpenter Technology
  • STRATIS IoT
  • Odessa

10. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte grew as a banking hub. Home to Bank of America’s global HQ it also has the largest of Wells Fargo’s east coast outposts. Today, Charlotte is one of the fastest growing city in the U.S. According to the BLS.gov, 22,200 people hold information jobs in Charlotte. Some of its tech industries are aerospace, biotech and IT. 

Major tech players include Google, Cisco, Oracle and SAS. One reason may be Charlotte’s low tax burden and highly educated workforce. It is also part of the largest research park in the nation. The Research Triangle Park includes over 200 companies. RTP also has clusters of IT, cleantech and life sciences. With this infrastructure and access in place, Charlotte may still grow as a tech hub in the near future.  

Charlotte at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 885,708 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 85.4%  
  • Median home price: $200,500 
  • Average rent: $1,086

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $98,110 
  • Information Security Analyst: $100,330 
  • Network Architects: $86,840 
  • Web Developer: $83,480 
  • Software Developer: $104,040

5 places to look for a tech job

  • SmartSky Networks
  • Passport
  • Tresata
  • Stratifyd
  • Airwavz

11. Miami City, FL

Miami City has beaches, restaurants, Art Deco buildings and night life. It is also one of the fastest growing cities. This surge may be due to an on the rise tech sector. To that point, the Kauffman Index ranked Miami #1 for startup activity in 2018. According to the BLS.gov, 47,700 people have information focused jobs in Miami. Many of these are in software, telecom and engineering R & D.

Two things that may appeal to tech startups are Miami’s low taxes and a tropical setting. It also has access to markets on the U.S. East Coast, Latin America and Europe. As a result, the city is starting to attract startup accelerators. These are companies that invest in very new tech ventures and speed up their growth. One example is 500 Startups. It is an active global venture capital firm with an HQ in San Francisco. They also opened a Downtown Miami office and have been helping tech companies launch. It will be interesting to see Miami grow as a tech hub and if that outshines its status as a tourist magnate. 

Miami at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 2,716,940 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 75.1%  
  • Median home price: $268,200 
  • Average rent: $1,257

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $89,990 
  • Information Security Analyst: $89,990 
  • Network Architects: $108,070 
  • Web Developer: $71,750 
  • Software Developer: $98,730

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Anthem Inc
  • Exeter Gov’t Services LLC
  • Univision Communications Inc
  • Oracle
  • Kforce  

12. Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is the vibrant capital city of Georgia. But Southern charm aside, some call the city “The Silicon Valley of the South.” One reason may be its mix of tech startups and Fortune 500 companies. Coca Cola Co., Delta Airlines, and First Data are a few. Another, it graduates tech savvy workers. They may come from Georgia Tech, Georgia State, the University of Georgia and Emory.  

According to the BLS.gov, 100,700 people have information jobs in Atlanta. Some of the tech industries are fintech, software and blockchain. The city also houses one of the largest tech hubs in the U.S. already. Called the Atlanta Tech Village, it is an amenity rich community.  Some of the services provided are Pitch Practice and free cloud storage. Techpreneurs can also plug into very fast internet. And, access talent, nap rooms and lunch. 

Yet other companies are securing funding to dig deeper roots in Atlanta. This may be a result of GA’s corporate friendly tax structure. One is Atlanta based Bakkt, a financial services company. Their focus is on digital currency, concurrency, rewards, and loyalty points. Recently, they got an influx of $300.0M. That’s slightly more than another Atlanta tech company, OneTrust. OneTrust deals with privacy management and marketing compliance tech. They help other businesses follow global regulations like GDPR. 

Given these new investments, Atlanta may rise as a tech hub even more.  

Atlanta at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 506,811 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 75.1%  
  • Median home price: $261,400 
  • Average rent: $1,099

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $91,690 
  • Information Security Analyst: $100,810 
  • Network Architects: $115,030 
  • Web Developer: $89,100 
  • Software Developer: $103,490

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Humana
  • South Company
  • Honeywell
  • Perspecta
  • OneTrust

13. Huntsville City, AL 

Many know Huntsville AL as a space portal and an aerospace and research hub. In fact, some dub it the “Rocket Center”. The area crafted the rocket that sent the first U.S. satellite into orbit. After all, it’s home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.  Plus, the US Space and Rocket Center. And, the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command Center too. 

According to the BLS.gov. 2,200 people in Huntsville have information jobs. While not a lot, salaries still compete with national averages. Software developers for e.g. earn $53.08 per hour in the area. The national average is $53.66. 

Apart from the defense sector, another key tech industry is biotech. One company that has made an impact is HudsonAlpha. They work in genomics and have over 40 associate companies on their campus. Another is Urban Engine. They are an accelerator of STEAM innovation. That’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math. With companies like that, Huntsville may flourish as a new breed of tech hubs in a few years.  

Huntsville at a glance

  • Population (2019): 885,708 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 85.4%  
  • Median home price: $200,500 
  • Average rent: $1,086

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $97,360 
  • Information Security Analyst: $94,280 
  • Network Architects: $111,760 
  • Web Developer: $76,150 
  • Software Developer: $110,400

5 places to look for a tech job 

  • Radiance Technologies
  • ERC
  • Abaco
  • Dynetics
  • Northrop Grunman 

14. Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis is definitely not the warm and sunny west coast. But it does have a robust startup scene. You may know it is where Target Inc. first launched and keeps their HQ. According to the BLS.gov, 33,600 people work in information jobs in Minneapolis. Other strong sectors are finance and gov’t. One of the industries is biotech. The Twin Cities region is one the nation’s biggest employers of biomedical engineers. United Health and Medronic also have HQs in the city. 

Another sector with a strong presence is fintech. No shock given Minneapolis is home to Ameriprise Financial. Other key tech sectors are software and cyber security.  There are several companies in the software space. A few are Emergent Software, Coherence and MentorMate. MentorMate expanded to Europe not long ago. 

Apart from these areas, Minneapolis seems to be growing as a security center. They got a surge of investment from a CA based company who is branching out. Arctic Wolf is a computer and network security company. They recently raised $60M and plan to open a Twin Cities security ops center. One of the reasons is the strong technical talent pool. Small startups, Fortune 500 companies and new money. All may help the city grow as a tech hub in the years ahead.  

Minneapolis at a glance 

  • Population (2019): 429,606 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 81.6%  
  • Median home price: $235,900 
  • Average rent: $985 

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $97,590 
  • Information Security Analyst: $102,690 
  • Network Architects: $89,740 
  • Web Developer: $83,720 
  • Software Developer: $105,730

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Ameriprise
  • Calabrio
  • Ceridian
  • Field Nation
  • Four51 

15. Portland, ME

Portland is a small city in Maine known for lobsters, a friendly vibe and access to nature. It is also the home of L.L. Bean and the state’s strongest economic region. According to the BLS.gov, about 2,500 people work in information jobs in the city. More, they report, work in finance, business and health services.  

That said, the city may be on the verge of a tech boom. One reason is its manufacturing sector. It distributes to Northern New England.  Also, Portland is not far from Boston. So, it may appeal to tech companies who are looking for a more affordable option. The startup scene is vibrant too. Here you find software and app developers, health informatics, payment systems and clean tech.  

In another piece of news, Portland expects to house a new research institute. The Roux Institute named after its Silicon Valley investor David Roux. The $100M investment aims to boost Portland’s appeal to innovators. This influx in capital and attention may help Portland expand as a tech city in years to come.  

Portland Maine at a glance

  • Population (2019): 66,215 
  • Households with broadband Internet: 83.5%  
  • Median home price: $273,400 
  • Average rent: $1,079

Mean Annual Tech Salaries (May 2019)

  • Computer Systems Analyst: $81,870 
  • Information Security Analyst: $89,610 
  • Network Architects: $108,660 
  • Web Developer: $65,980 
  • Software Developer: $94,640

5 places to look for a tech job

  • Unstack
  • MedRhythms
  • HighByte
  • KinoTech
  • upBed

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